What Do I Read Next?
Another of Defoe's fictional biographies, The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, was published in 1722. It is the story of an orphan, Moll Flanders, who is brought up in the house of the Mayor of Colchester. Moll leads an interesting life as she is involved with a succession of men, journeys to Virginia, returns to England, becomes destitute and, consequently, a prosperous thief.
A Journal of the Plague Year (1722) exhibits Defoe's talents as a journalist. The book details the devastating effects of a crippling plague.
Defoe's Roxana, or the Fortunate Mistress, (1724) chronicles the story of Roxana. The daughter of French Huguenots. Roxana and her children are abandoned by her husband. Along with her trustworthy maid, Amy, Roxana leads a life of adventure and dissipation.
One of the more famous Robinsonades grew out of the bedtime stories which Johann David Wyss (1743-1818) told to his family. Along with overseeing the education of his sons, Wyss loved to read tales of exploration such as those of Captain Cook and George Forster. His bed time stories were written down by the family and published in 1812 as The Swiss Family Robinson.
Jules Verne was one of the most enthusiastic writers of the Robinsonade. Verne modernized Defoe's story. In his version, Robinson is a scientist who by accident finds himself in an unexplored world. His most explicit Robinsonade is the 1874 novel, The Mysterious Island. In this story a group of men in a hot-air balloon crash on an island, where they proceed to build mines, kilns, and factories.
Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island (1883) remains a popular adventure tale. The story takes place in the eighteenth century, and begins when Jim Hawkins secures an old treasure map. He recruits some friends to go look for the treasure.
William Golding's 1954 novel, Lord of the Flies, is considered a contemporary Robinsonade. When a plane of schoolboys crashes on an island, the boys' attempt to create a semblance of civilization fails. The boys separate into civilized and primitive camps.